Sean Long eager to make playing return

Sean Long
Long made over 300 appearances for Wigan, Widnes, St Helens and Hull

New Preston Grasshoppers signing Sean Long has revealed the lure of playing again made him join the National League Two North club.

The 35-year-old switched codes after a successful rugby league career, mainly with St Helens and Great Britain.

"I was missing the game of rugby," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"My good friend Karl Fitzpatrick is playing here and has given the chance along with chairman of rugby [Mike Bailey] and Dave Baldwin [coach].

He added: "I put the boots up too early and I got the all-clear from the doctor following shoulder problems I decided to dust the boots off and come out of retirement."

"We'll see on 19 November when I make my debut but at the end of the day it's about putting the ball over the whitewash, that's the main thing.

Long was close to moving to near-neightbours Fylde, but said he had no hesitation in joining 'Hoppers.

"I spoke to the coach at Fylde [Mark Nelson] and he said come down to training on Tuesday, but I was invited down to Preston by Karl Fitzpatrick," he said.

"I did some coaching at Preston in pre-season so it was the natural place to come.

"I know quite a few of the lads and the chairman's cool."